Road Less Traveled

De-Commercializing Christmas

December 20, 2017

Recently, I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and one overarching theme in that book is the crazy love of God and how our response to that love should be crazy different lives. I’m not sure if this is an exact example mentioned in the book, but one way I’ve seen myself challenged by that sentiment recently is in crazy selflessness.


So it’s Christmas season, right? It’s the season of giving… and receiving. The season of joy… and commercialism.


We’ve probably all seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, or we at least know of it. We can probably remember Charlie Brown’s complaints about the commercialism of Christmas. And we probably groaned right along with him.


But what are we doing to combat the commercialism of Christmas, really?


I know I still look forward to receiving gifts on Christmas Day. I tell myself it’s okay because it’s Christmas. Of course we’re going to receive gifts. What’s the harm in that? After all, I love giving others gifts. It’s not like I’m totally selfish.


But what about that craziness that Francis Chan was talking about? He doesn’t say that we’re okay if we’re not totally selfish. No, he says to be completely, crazily selfless. We can’t be lukewarm when it comes to following Christ. We have to be extreme.



So I’ve been challenged by the idea recently of not asking for anything this Christmas (not even giving sly little “hints”). I’ve wondered what it would be like if I simply asked for a charitable donation in lieu of gifts.


And I think it’s a wonderful, beautiful, crazy idea. It’s hard, yes, and I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve not asked for anything. But I can’t help but think—what if? What if we all did just that? That might, just might, be one big wave toward the de-commercialization of Christmas.



Kayla Johansen – Column: Road Less Traveled

Kayla Johansen is an eighteen-year-old college student saved by Jesus Christ. Ever the word-lover, she spends her time reading and writing everything from fanfiction to young adult novels. When not reading or writing, you might catch her watching Netflix (she has a particular soft spot for NCIS) or playing with one of her four dogs. Her ultimate goal is to find a way to honor Jesus not only in her (eventual) career but also in all her day-to-day decisions. Connect with her at her blog, Kingdom Writer.

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